You’re Not Happy With Your Job. But Where Do You Really Want to Work?

By Patrick Coffee 

Yesterday a big Campaign survey told us something that anyone scrolling through a particularly active comment thread on this blog already knows: Lots of people who work in the ad industry aren’t super happy with their jobs right now.

The question follows: Where do these dissatisfied creative agency staffers really want to be working?

Job listing network Working Not Working has the answer via its annual Top 50 Companies Creatives Would Kill to Work for poll, which went live last week. 300 such companies received votes from an unspecified number of WNW’s 7,500-strong community, according to founder Justin Gignac. We have to say the results are not too terribly surprising: “None/Freelance” was the fourth most popular response.

Unfortunately, the list does not rank the winners from best to least good in the classic Pitchfork/Business Insider style. But we can at least name the agencies that landed in the top 50:

  • 72andSunny
  • adam&eveDDB
  • Anomaly
  • Barton F. Graf
  • BBDO
  • Deutsch
  • Droga5
  • Mother
  • R/GA
  • Wieden + Kennedy

Here are the design firms, production companies, digital development companies, etc.:

  • 2×4
  • Automattic
  • Blizzard Entertainment
  • Buck
  • Bureau Mirko Borsche
  • Giant Ant
  • Google Creative Lab
  • IDEO
  • Instrument
  • Partners & Spade
  • Pentagram
  • Project Projects
  • Sagmeister & Walsh
  • Snask
  • Stinkdigital
  • Stranger & Stranger
  • Watson Design Group
  • Wolff & Olins
  • Work & Co

Our first conclusion from these lists is that many Working Not Working members don’t live in the United States. They also want to work for “innovative” clients:

  • Airbnb
  • Apple
  • Disney
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Headspace
  • NASA
  • National Geographic
  • The New York Times
  • Nike
  • Patagonia
  • Pixar
  • Red Bull
  • Snapchat
  • SpaceX
  • Spotify
  • Tesla
  • VICE

Two shops also scored honorable mentions: TBWA\Chiat\Day and BBH.

WNW didn’t include a whole lot of detail in its corresponding blog post, though this part was interesting:

“…we asked our members what it would take for them to go full-time. Over 60% listed ‘Creative Opportunity’ as the most important factor, followed by ‘The Team’ and the ‘Company’s Mission.'”

So creatives want to work for a company that has a discernible mission beyond “help people sell stuff,” and of course they want to work with like-minded colleagues. Someone also provided this key quote: “I wouldn’t kill somebody for a job. That’s crazy. I wouldn’t mind working for Patagonia though.”

If we were going to overgeneralize here, we might say that, while many people are obviously restless in their current agency jobs, they don’t really want to travel too far for an alternate gig. They seem to think that design firms would offer less of the usual industry drama, but they also suspect that maybe a different agency would be the key (it probably wouldn’t, but whatever). Those who chose Airbnb are probably just gluttons for punishment.

Or maybe, like so many of our commenters, WNW members aren’t quite ready to give up altogether because they love to chat about how unbearably awful it all is.